I wake up around 6am on weekdays, have a quick coffee and try to leave the house soon after to avoid the day’s heat, which is already well into its stride by 7am. I pick up breakfast along the way − bananas and deep-fried dough balls − while charting a path through the morning throng of the market that spills out on to the road leading to the office.
I’m in Fort Dauphin, a coastal town of about 70,000 people that serves as the urban centre of the mostly rural Anosy Region in the southeast of Madagascar. I’m here working as a monitoring and evaluation specialist for SEED, a British charity that works in the fields of conservation, sustainable livelihoods and community health.
Madagascar has a reputation for breath-taking scenery and unique wildlife. It’s one of the world’s most recognizable biodiversity hotspots and 80 per cent of its flora and fauna are found nowhere else in the world.